Speaking of which, his attitude has come into question this season, now he’s at the top of the Moto3 field. He has already racked up three penalty points, has a reputation of taking little responsibility in the collisions he’s taken this season, and of course, he lashed out in Brno, kicking a rider for not giving him enough space in Qualifying, prompting me to go full Adam Hills and tweet him: “You’re not special, princess.”, in true Australian fashion. Such pettiness is hardly ever smiled upon in a sport as ruthless as this one, and his general nonchalant attitude raises eyebrows for the wrong reasons.
I look at Jack, and I wonder if he’s even taking this title challenge and future job seriously. I know he’s only 19, and boys, will be boys, but you have to have a certain level of maturity and temperament to be successful at the top. Look at Marco Simoncelli when he was in his prime. I always said, he could have been a title contender if he just toned down the crazy a couple of notches. Maverick Vinales and Andrea Iannone are also examples of what can be done once you mature and learn from experience
And not to mention, he’s been thrown into the hornet’s nest, with a top class that’s going to be EVEN better than last year, with Suzuki’s return, and arguably the most stacked top class ever, with lower down teams like Avintia switching to Ducati power, as well as stud prospect, Maverick Vinales as a yardstick.
The gamble element in all this is prominent, when you consider what it can do for other riders who went the top and it not working out. Look at Mika Kallio. Grafted and grafted, finally got to the top class with Pramac, but a 15th and 17th in the World Championship followed, and he was back down to Moto2 with his tail between his legs. And once you get removed from the top class, it’s practically impossible to get back in, and unless you’re REALLY good on that Production Honda, it’s hard to make an impact. Kinda puts Scott’s incredible rookie year at the top into context.
We came close to seeing that happening again with amazingly, some of the younger talent on the hotseat, and close to be dropped, like Bradley Smith and Stefan Bradl were earlier in the season. If it can happen to them (Bradl a World Champion no less), then it can happen to anyone, and if this move doesn’t work out, Miller could be one of those guys that drops to Moto2 at 22 or 23, and is stuck as people will look at him as the guy who “Failed to make an impact”, ala Mika.
And Moto2 is already loaded full of hungry, younger riders who would kill for a shot at the top. Tito Rabat, Johann Zarco, Dominque Aegerter, Thomas Luthi, Simone Corsi to name a few. But that’s also the tier’s biggest problem, and its logjam of talent meaning there simply isn’t enough bikes to go around. Corsi can’t get a look in for the senior team, even with the possibility of TWO empty seats at Forward Yamaha for next year!
And this is the gamble that Jack Miller is taking. He’s a solid rider, who’s marketability will win him some fans and sponsors, but if he doesn’t knuckle down and realize it, he could be just another small fish, in the ocean that is, MotoGP.